Monday, January 28, 2013

A good day for using the oven.

This past week, I read a post on the Molly Bawn Chronicles about making whole wheat raisin walnut bread, and I thought this cold weekend would be the perfect time to try it out. Step-by-step instructions are here on Molly's cooking blog. I rarely can get bread to turn out right, but I so love working with dough. I had this table made with scrap granite and it's the perfect surface for kneading bread.
In spite of the fact that I am a notoriously poor baker, I made a few changes to suit ingredients I had in my house. For instance, I had a bag of whole white wheat flour instead of the regular kind of whole wheat flour. This is made with white wheat instead of red, so it's a little milder in flavor. It's not refined flour, though. Also, I subbed in regular dark raisins, currants and apricots for some of the golden raisins. Because I had them. And some pecans for some of the walnuts. Again, because I had them. And threw in chia seeds for no particular reason except that they are so healthful. My version has this ingredients list:

1 pkg. dry yeast
1 1/4 C warm water
3 T butter, softened
1 T sugar 1 tsp salt
3/4 C walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 C pecans, coarsely chopped
3/4 C golden raisins
1/4 C regular raisins
handful dried currants
4 dried apricots, chopped
1/4 C wheat germ
1 T chia seeds
3 C (approx) whole white wheat flour

And you know, it is not only absurdly good for you, it is also delicious. We had some buttered with our dinner, but I think it would be good with jam or honey, as well. My son felt it had too many raisins, but I don't think that's possible.
And while I had the oven on... the grocery store had peppers on sale for a buck a piece. Well. I know what to do about that. Into the oven they went, at 400 degrees, until the skins began to wrinkle and brown.
After they'd cooled a bit, I de-seeded them, removed as much of the skin as would peel off easily, and sliced them into strips. There you have it, roasted peppers for adding to recipes at a later date (to top pizzas, add to pasta sauces, use on fish, and so on).
I wanted to freeze the colors separately but in small amounts so I could just get what I need to use. I decided to lay out sheets of plastic wrap and roll them up a small batch at a time, then pack the roll into a bag. Then, when I want to use them, I can just un-roll as many as I need. I was pretty pleased with that idea. Also pleased with the fact that even with all that cooking, I managed to get a nice long walk in at the lake. Sunny and high about 50 by yesterday afternoon - it was almost hard to remember we were covered in ice a couple of days ago.

46 comments:

  1. I hate peeling and de-seeding roasted peppers, but it's SO worth the trouble!

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    1. It's a little tedious, but not too bad. And yes, worth it.

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  2. That bread sounds delicious! I love anything with raisins. I need to look for this whole white wheat flour that you speak of. I find regular wheat flour to be too heavy sometimes. A buck for peppers is a good deal. Have a great week!

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    1. I found it in the organic section with things like flax seed.

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  3. nice on the long walk...that bread sounds good...will pass that on to my wife to try....

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  4. Beautiful bread, perfectly done peppers...you had a great time in the kitchen, seems to me. Thanks for the recipe, too. I have almost all of the ingredients plus substitutes for the rest. Tomorrow, I bake!

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  5. I'm telling ya, you should start a cooking blog because anytime you share one of these posts, my mouth waters!

    I have no talent for cooking whatsoever. So I really admire people, like yourself, who do. You seem to have a wonderful passion for it.

    Hey, that bread looks beyond yummy! To me, there is nothing like fresh homemade bread. And as Bijoux shared, I love anything with raisins in it. And those peppers look delish as well!

    Thanks so much for sharing!
    X

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    1. I didn't start cooking until I was in grad school, but somehow, it just clicked for me and now I really love it. I think there is something meditative about working with food. But I'll never do a cooking blog - I'd bore myself if I had to stick with one subject.

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  6. I love those pantry contents breads! I do the same thing for soups. Often wondrous results!

    Your pics make my mouth water. Great idea on the peppers.

    XO
    WWW

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    1. I'm much more likely to do it with regular cooking, too. I am big on just figuring out what I can make with what I have.

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  7. I have a breakmaker but just use it to make the dough then form into muffins and bake - can't beat the smell of freshly baked bread.

    Great idea with the peppers.

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    1. I used to have a bread-maker but got ri of it becauase it took away the one thing I really like about making bread - kneading the dough!

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  8. I love adding roasted peppers to almost anything. The taste and color really liven things up :)

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    1. Yes they do - the flavor becomes really concentrated.

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  9. I want to try to bake bread in my new slow cooker. First I want to try regular bread and then if that's successful I'll throw in some other goodies. Your bread looks so good.

    Also, I love roasted peppers! I like to bathe them in Italian dressing first and then roast them until they're black. Then I just eat them. So good.

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    1. A slow cooker like a crock pot? I haven't heard of making bread in one.

      And do you not take the seeds out or do you do that before you roast the peppers?

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    2. I take the seeds out first.

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  10. Looks like a dense, heavy bread. Just the way I like it, though I'd probably have given it more time to rise, put in more yeast, and given the yeast more sugar to live on.

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    1. It's almost like a bread form of oatmeal. I think with this sort of bread, I wouldn't want it fluffier.

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  11. I'm delighted you liked it! And yes. You can never have too many raisins.....Funny you should think of adding apricots. That's exactly what my sister suggested the first time she tasted this. I have some of that white whole wheat flour. Guess I'll try it next time. Beautiful colours on those peppers---making my mouth water!

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    1. The bread must call out for apricots, then! I appreciate the recipe and will definitely be making this bread again.

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  12. You are clearly a quick worker! To have time for a long walk also, that's going it. It all looks mouth watering. I love pictures of your meals and the recipes. May I ask, what are Chia seeds?

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    1. Salva hispanica, in the mint family. The seeds have mega 3 fatty acids, like flax. But more digestible because they don't have to be ground first.

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  13. Oh I like everything on this tasty post. Never too many raisins - yes. Roasted peppers - excellent. I wonder if your boys will have a tough time adjusted to a future spouse's cooking. But maybe they will cook themselves (or already do?)

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    1. My older son has an apartment and does cook for himself now and my younger son likes to cook a little, too. I hope they'll share the cooking load with future spouses.

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  14. Never met a bread I didn't like (my hips can attest to that, LOL) so I'm sure I would have liked that bread of yours! I like how you prepare your peppers to have available for future recipes; very creative!! Glad too you got a walk at the lake :)

    betty

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    1. The great thing about this bread is that since it's whole wheat, it's really good for you. Unlike my beloved baguettes and croissants!

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  15. Substituting for apricots and pecans sounds good to me. And I would never be overheard saying too many raisins--everyone is unique.

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    1. He still ate it, just would have preferred fewer raisins, I think. Not that I won't put just as many in next time!

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  16. I bet your house smelled great with that bread baking. YUM!
    xo jj

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  17. Mmmm... Looks good. Looks better than the last thing that I baked.

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    1. Looks better than the last thing I baked, too!

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  18. Baking is definitely not my strong point but I’m a reasonably good cook. Those peppers would come in very handy for many of my recipes.

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    1. I'm a much better cook than baker, that's for sure.

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  19. I guess I could also do that with my peppers. Got excited and bought quite a bit late week.
    Bread sound delicious. Never baked a bread in my life. Don't think I'll be attempting one anytime soon but will try someday. Last week has been all about semolina for me.

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    1. Peppers just go bad so quickly and this is a way not to waste them.

      This bread wasn't difficult, but it does tie you to the house for a while.

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  20. I love raisin bran and walnut .. I will try to bake it using the above recipe .. otherwise Tim Horton are always fresh:)

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    1. The only thing I've ever had at Tim Hortons was donuts and they may have been the worst donuts I've ever eaten. We ended up throwing them away. I've been assured that this must have been an off day for them.

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  21. What a brilliant idea for the peppers and the walnut loaf looks so delicious.

    Thank you for telling me about the twin over at mine. It was really moving.
    Maggie x

    Nuts in May

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    1. You're welcome. Twinship is such an interesting thing.

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  22. Sounds like the perfect day and the bread sounds yummy. I love colored peppers!

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    1. So do I! Which is funny because I hate green bell peppers.

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  23. I love roasted peppers on anything. Wonderful satisfying work for a day.

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